Andaz Scottsdale’s Artist Dinner Series Blends Local Art and Elevated Cuisine
Writer Shoshana Leon
Photography Courtesy of Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows
Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows is a truly unique property. Opened in December 2016, the hotel is part of Hyatt’s boutique Andaz brand, which celebrates local communities by incorporating cultural aspects of the area into each hotel.
To connect with the local area, Andaz Scottsdale reached out to the nearby Cattle Track Arts Compound to source local art several months before it opened. Over the years the relationship has grown into a strong partnership.
“From the beginning, it was evident that it was very important to Andaz to connect with the area and local artists,” said Mark McDowell of Cattle Track. “They were adamant about using local resources. Over time, we have formed a cooperative and collaborative partnership. We work together on many projects and they really respect our input.”
Cattle Track Arts Compound is a special place for artists to work, gather and collaborate. Home to several studios, Cattle Track was founded in the 1930s with a mission to recognize and celebrate Scottsdale’s cultural heritage by providing opportunities for artists to individually and collectively encourage and enhance their art forms.
Cattle Track artists have been involved in many aspects of the development, design and evolution of Andaz Scottsdale, from providing furniture and art to creating on-site experiences, including opportunities for leisure and corporate guests to learn more about local artists and create art guided by Cattle Track artists.
“The partnership with Cattle Track Arts Compound began at the resort opening when ownership was seeking out local art to embrace local artisans,” said Deanna Zuber-Galloway, director of sales, marketing and events at Andaz Scottsdale. “The majority of the art around the property has been sourced from Cattle Track, and a lot of the pieces were designed just for Andaz Scottsdale.
“From the prints in the room to the mugs and plates in the restaurant, to the coffee tables in the suites, Cattle Track art is all around. The partnership has continued to evolve over the past three years, and we have even named 19 of our suites ‘Cattle Track Suites’ in honor of our relationship with them.”
Andaz Scottsdale guests also have the unique opportunity to tour Cattle Track and meet the artists, explore their workspaces and see their creations, which range from paintings and pottery to fiber art and photography.
Chance Phillips has a studio at Cattle Track where she creates fiber art using wool, paper and other materials. She created one of Andaz Scottsdale’s signature art installations at the check-in desk. She also created bracelets that are worn by all Andaz employees. Phillips enjoys the opportunity to provide demonstrations to Andaz guests.
“I love working with other artists, and we love working with the people at Andaz,” she said. “We have developed a great connection and ongoing collaboration over the years because of their focus and commitment to local artists.”
In October 2019, Andaz Scottsdale launched a monthly artist dinner series. Partnering with Cattle Track was a natural fit.
“The resort, from one corner to the next, is about design and art. We wanted to create a dinner that highlights the artists who are involved in the property,” said Andaz Scottsdale’s executive chef Nate Larsen.
These intimate dinners are a true collaboration between local artists and the hotel’s food and beverage staff. They feature seasonal table décor, hand-drawn menus, live music and custom plates designed for each course.
Dinners take place in the beautiful herb garden at Weft & Warp, the hotel’s restaurant. Each dinner starts with a cocktail reception where guests have the opportunity to meet the artists and learn more about their work.
“The food is only a part of the night,” said Chef Larsen. “The setting itself is unique. We cook, plate and mix drinks throughout the evening under the stars. Many dishes are finished tableside, allowing guests the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the team.”
The chefs and artists have a shared passion.
“There are multiple similarities between a chef and an artist including the way that we use colors and texture to tell a story,” said Chef Larsen. “The artist who creates plates for us does beautiful work that is rustic and subtle. Her style very much matches the way that we cook and present our food.”
Potter Mary Van Dusen, who has a studio in Cattle Track Arts Compound, has designed plates, mugs, bowls, candle holders and other items for the hotel since it opened. Many of her pieces are available in Andaz Scottsdale’s gift shop, along with works from other Cattle Track artists.
Van Dusen worked closely with Chef Larsen to design plates and bowls in shapes, sizes and colors that enhance each dish and elevate the experience for Andaz Scottsdale Artist Dinner Series guests.
“Our relationship with Andaz Scottsdale has a wonderful sense of camaraderie and also provides a great business opportunity,” said Van Dusen. “Working together, we help guests connect with the area and have experiences that are unique to our community and culture.”
Whether you are a guest visiting Andaz Scottsdale or a local resident who is passionate about art, Andaz Scottsdale’s Artist Dinner Series is a special opportunity to enjoy elevated cuisine and connect with local artisans in an intimate and inspiring setting.